In 2012, Brett Cecil’s major league career was on the brink of extinction. After winning 15 games in 2010, Cecil fell to 4-11 in 2011, and slipped even further the next year: his ERA climbed to 5.72, and he started 15 games in the minors. At that point, if you had gone to Las Vegas and placed a bet on Cecil’s chances of becoming an All-Star, you would have gotten very good odds.
In 2013, on being moved to the bullpen full-time, Cecil suddenly improved dramatically. His hits per nine innings fell from 10.3 to 6.5, his strikeout rate improved from 7.5 per nine innings to 10.4, and he basically eliminated the home run. The result: a 2.82 ERA and a trip to the All-Star Game.
In 2014, it was more of the same. He gave up a few more hits, but he struck out batters even more often. At this point, he’s the likely favourite for the closer’s job. He’s still only 28, so he’s got a few years ahead of him, and he’s got a chance to earn some real money in this game. All that, plus he has the coolest glasses in baseball.